PRODUCT REVIEW: VILIA SOAPS
The all-natural soaps Vilia Soap Company are made using olive oil from northern Greece and almond oil from the region of Volos, as well as organic coconut oil from abroad. The company combines these skin-friendly oils with essential oils made from Greek herbs and flowers such as lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus and peppermint. Non-Greek organic ingredients sourced from small producers are also used, such as lemongrass, activated charcoal, Early Grey tea, sandalwood and patchouli.
PRODUCT REVIEW I:
Activated charcoal and tea tree oil
Created this for those who suffer with acne prone skin. Activated charcoal is thought to draw out impurities and reduce puffiness, while tea tree fights bacteria. The soap also contains sweet orange oil, which is rich in antioxidants to help heal the skin. The soap is made using Greek olive oil, coconut oil, RSPO palm oil, activated charcoal; tea tree and sweet orange essential oils, and is 100 % Natural and Vegan, Cruelty free.
Tried & tested:
Unfortunately, I’m one of those adult acne sufferers, but fortunately, although the issue is ongoing, I can keep it under control. I’ve tested various commercial and artisan, usually naturally-based products that are low or completely clear of chemicals, and am always keen to experiment (see the post on the amazing cocoa mud mask I created!) with new products.
I used the Activated Charcoal and Tea Tree Oil soap consistently, day and night for a month, and noticed its effects after only the first few days. My combination skin (and, importantly, the acne-prone areas) was drier but still supple, my pores felt and looked tighter. The soap has a graininess that I enjoyed when I created a foam in my hands as it has a sort of massage effect. It smells fresh and clean.
PRODUCT REVIEW II:
Peppermint tea and green clay mini bar soap
Infused with peppermint tea and green clay to provide a light exfoliation and to help fight acne. The soap was created especially for oily skin types and acne prone skins, but is beneficial for all skin types. Peppermint essential oil helps reduce irritation to the skin while leaving it cool and refreshed, while green clay has a detoxifying effect. Handmade with Greek olive oil, coconut oil, RSPO palm oil, peppermint essential oil, green clay, peppermint tea. 100 % natural and vegan, cruelty free.
Tried & tested:
Summer in Greece means sweltering, sweaty heat from early in the morning to late in the evening. When you have a tendency for oily skin, that can make you feel like a real greaseball. So the minty zing of this soap was especially refreshing, while the clay made my skin feel and look more smooth and taut. I really enjoyed the after-feeling – the combination of using this peppermint-oil based soap and rinsing the foam with ice cold water made my skin look radiant and revived.
THE PERSON & STORY BEHIND VILIA SOAP COMPANY
After getting engaged to her Greek partner, Staci Wagner Hamalis left a jet-setting corporate career and moved to Greece, but instead of wiling away her days lying in the sun, she immediately set up a dynamic business making artisanal soaps.
Discovering more and more about the Greek landscape and artisanal traditions during each visit to the home of her parents-in-law in Kavala, eastern Macedonia, Hamalis eventually tried her hand at making soaps and fell in love with it.
“My father in law made the traditional, old fashioned, wooden soap-making molds for me and taught me age-old techniques,” she says. Her husband too, a website design company owner,
“I love the Greek culture and richness of nature here and wanted to share this with others, which why in my brand you will find inspiration from Greece in the products and in the packaging,” Hamalis says.